By Joanna Estrada, The Salvation Army
The music of brass instruments and singing will be heard coming from The Salvation Army church this summer. 25 students will be participating in The Salvation Army’s 5th Annual Summer Music Camp. The program is four weeks long and completely free, making it accessible to any interested children from the community.
Music is a longstanding tradition of The Salvation Army, and brass bands in particular have been associated with the organization since its earliest days in late 19th century London, England. Even today in Salvation Army churches around the world, it is not unusual to find a brass band accompanying congregational singing and providing special music as part of worship services. These are based on the British brass band format, using cornets instead of trumpets, and alto horns rather than French Horns, and can range in size from small ensembles of as few as four players to full-sized groups of thirty or more.
“It’s not just a tradition,” said Major Eloisa Estrada, Commanding Officer. “Music is a great way to involve young people in the church, and of course music education can improve performance in school and future opportunities.” Studies show that schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate, compared with 72.9% at schools without music programs.
Each morning begins with snacks and a devotional thought before warming up for the day’s lessons and activities. Students attend daily brass classes, with both beginner and intermediate levels available. Other classes include music theory and choir.
While the camp’s primary purpose is music education, traditional summer activities such as outdoor recreation and field trips are always part of the weekly schedule. Last year, students visited the El Paso Museum of Archeology and the National Border Patrol Museum where they also explored the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Hike. Their next field trips were to the movies, the El Paso Zoo, and Camp Cohen Water Park.
The summer program will run for four weeks, and students will perform at a music celebration held on Sunday, July 16, 2023 at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps located at 4900 Hercules Ave.
The best way to support the program is through monetary donations. Other helpful donations include functional brass instruments and keyboards.
For more information about how to support the music camp, call 915-544-9811 or visit online at southernusa.salvationarmy.org/elpaso.